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SICKLE CELL ANEMIA

Mayra Pagan

What is Sickle Cell Anemia?  A serious condition in which red blood cells can become sickle-shaped  Normal red blood cells are smooth and round. They’re stiff and sticky and tend to form clumps and get stuck in blood vessels.  The clumps of sickle cell block blood flow in the blood vessels that lead to the limbs and organs.  Sickle-shaped cells don’t move easily through blood. serious infection. They move easily through blood vessels to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. Blocked blood vessel can cause pain. . and organ damage.

Normal and Sickled Red Blood Cells in Blood Vessels Figure B shows abnormal.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Sca/SCA_WhatIs. sickled red blood cells clumping and blocking the blood flow in a blood vessel. Figure A shows normal red blood cells flowing freely in a blood vessel. The inset image shows a cross-section of a normal red blood cell with normal hemoglobin.nhlbi.nih.html . The inset image shows a cross-section of a sickled red blood cell with abnormal strands of hemoglobin. Source from http://www.

but they have one of the genes that cause the condition.Sickle Cell Anemia vs. – They inherit two copies of sickle cell gene. . means inherited. Sickle Cell Trait – People who have sickle cell anemia are born with it. one from each parent. – People with sickle cell anemia and sickle cell trait can pass the gene on when they have children. – Sickle cell trait is different from sickle cell anemia. lifelong condition. People with sickle cell trait don’t have the condition.

one from each parent. lifelong condition. People who inherit a sickle cell gene from one parent and a normal gene from the other parent have a condition called sickle cell trait. but they have one of the genes that cause the condition. see the section on causes of sickle . people with sickle cell trait can pass the gene on when they have children. They inherit two copies of the sickle cell gene. To learn more about sickle cell trait.Sickle cell anemia is an inherited. Like people with sickle cell anemia. Sickle cell trait is different from sickle cell anemia. People who have sickle cell anemia are born with it. People with sickle cell trait don’t have the condition.

– The parent who has sickle cell anemia (HbSS) can only pass the sickle hemoglobin gene to each of their children.htm#anchor298279 .Inheritance of Sickle Cell Anemia – If one parent has sickle cell anaemia (HbSS) and the other is completely unaffected (HbAA) then all the children will have sickle cell trait.org/education/inherit. – None will have sickle cell anemia. Source from http://www.sicklecellsociety.

. – There is a one in two (50%) chance that any given child will get the sickle cell trait. – There is also a one in four chance that any given child could be completely unaffected.Inheritance of Sickle Cell Anemia – If both parents have sickle cell trait (HbAS) there is a one in four (25%) chance that any given child could be born with sickle cell anemia.

 Normal red blood cells last about 120 days in the bloodstream and then die.Why Anemia?  Anemia is a condition in which a person’s blood has a lower than normal number of red blood cells. usually after only about 10 to 20 days. but they also remove carbon dioxide (a waste product) from cells and carry it to the lungs to be exhaled. The bone marrow can’t make new red blood cells fast enough to replace the dying ones. Their main role is to carry oxygen. Sickle cells die faster than normal red blood cells. The result is anemia. or the red blood cells don’t have enough hemoglobin. . a lower-than-normal number of red blood cells occurs because sickle cells don’t last very long. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein that gives blood its red color and carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.  In sickle cell anemia.

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others have very severe symptoms and may be hospitalized for treatment  Present at birth. and joints. Some have mild symptoms. abdomen. Common sites: bones. Lack of blood flow can cause pain and organ damage. jaundice. lungs. and shortness of breath  Pain (Sickle Cell Crisis): Sudden episode of pain throughout the body. many infants doesn’t show signs until after 4 months of age  Anemia: Fatigue (tiredness).Signs and Symptoms  Individual signs and symptoms varies. . pale skin and nail beds.

Complication of Sickle Cell Anemia – Hand-Food Syndrome – Splenic Crisis – Infections – Acute Chest Syndrome – Delayed growth and puberty in children – Stroke – Eye problem – – – Priapism – Gallstone Ulcers on the legs Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension – Multiple Organ Failure .

strokes and control complications if they occur. Folic Acid  Blood Transfusions .Treatments  Effective treatments are available to help relieve the symptoms and complications of sickle cell anemia. oxycodone. but in most cases there’s no cure. eye damage. nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). morphine. prevent infections.  Heating pads  Hydroxyurea.  The goal is to relieve the pain. and narcotics such as meperidine. and etc.  Pain medicine: acetaminophen.

avoid extremes of heat and cold weather. don’t travel airplane that is not cabin pressurized  Maintain healthy lifestyle habits  Eating healthy  Avoid dehydration  Exercise regularly  Get enough sleep and rest  Avoid alcohol and don’t smoke  Regular medical checkups and treatment are important .Prevention  Identify what can trigger the “Crisis” such as stress.